Browse all

How short are this summer perfect shorts?

Sun’s out, thighs out

How short are this summer perfect shorts?  Sun’s out, thighs out

After dispelling any doubts about the height of the perfect crew sock or the styling tricks to wear a polo shirt, the time has come to dedicate ourselves to another ancient question, on an item that has always been part of every summer: how long, or rather, how short, is the perfect shorts? 

Aimé Leon Dore Mountaineer Short

Aimé Leon Dore Mountaineer Short

Price: €195
Patagonia Men's Strider Pro Running Shorts - 5

Patagonia Men's Strider Pro Running Shorts - 5"

Price: €70
Arc'teryx Motus Short 6 Men's

Arc'teryx Motus Short 6 Men's

Price: €85
Carhartt WIP Chase Swim Trunks

Carhartt WIP Chase Swim Trunks

Price: €49
Prada Stretch Cotton Bermuda

Prada Stretch Cotton Bermuda

Price: €690

We are in men's fashion land, a field in which this type of item has never lacked, even in its most micro version, where it has gained great popularity thanks to the sports spirit and the fitness business that from the Eighties onwards made them an essential accessory for cardio workouts, running sessions, and weight lifting in the gym. In recent seasons, shorts, which can vary in length but are well above the knee, have gone beyond the boundaries of gyms, revealing the thighs even in everyday life. The short shorts - as we will call them from now on - had already made their appearance on Sean Connery as 007 in the 60s, but it was Tom Selleck who turned them into a costume phenomenon, who in Magnum P.I. wore them with a very high waist and always with a belt as a finishing touch. They were then faithful companions of Elton John, of Andre Agassi, even in the super acid-washed jeans version, of Stewart Copeland of the Police, who loved the short shorts + tank top combo, of a very young Tom Cruise and of Guns N 'Roses Axl Rose who on stage often wore a boxer-like version. 

Despite Tom Ford's famous quote about shorts - A man should never wear shorts in the city… they should only be worn on the tennis court or the beach - the trend gained popularity starting from sportswear, to elevate itself in fabrics and silhouettes, which have become tighter to the body and firmly above the knee. There is the hand of Gucci, of Alessandro Michele and, of course, of Harry Styles, who in the brand's SS21 lookbook wore a pair of very short jeans (with loafers and high socks, it goes without saying). In recent months, the photos of Paul Mescal first and then of Milo Ventimiglia have displayed how the trend can take two different and complementary paths: the first is fake effortless, basically very fashionable, which opts for vintage shorts or gets them from second-hand and old denim; the second instead maintains a sportier mood, as if just out of the gym, but ready to show the muscles (of the thigh) at the happy hour in the centre. At the origin of the trend, there is, as always, Prada, which already in the Spring 2018 collection had brought on the catwalk black nylon shorts, often combined with the iconic waist bag of the Maison, also worn with large coats or sandals with socks. Miuccia has shortened the distance between waist and hem, making these shorts mini, but super luxurious. 

Shortly thereafter, the short shorts began to be a fixture in the lookbooks of streetwear brands like Stussy, Aimé Leon Dore and Casablanca, becoming a style staple, especially if in pastel colours, much preferred over loud and very extravagant prints. 

The question remains: are you ready to wear them? Are you ready to discover your legs, hairy, fit, slender, short, however they are? Or will you instead remain faithful to more generous lengths, which hide, from the sun or prying eyes, a point of your body that is usually well protected? The risk could be just that, revealing more than necessary - as Phoebe's super sporty boyfriend does in an episode of Friends, crouching to find something in his backpack. And if you were wondering, for the sake of completeness, what is the correct size of the short shorts, TikTok seems to have the answer. The trend born last summer, which started with a pair of lifeguard shorts, super baggy, wide and rather ugly, like those that were also used among rappers at the beginning of the 2000s, and turned them into small tight shorts with a clean-cut above the knee, in the fateful measure of 5-Inch Inseam, just over 10 cm. Because, as the Guardian also points out, the sun’s out, thighs out